Cooper Island Villas
Bitter End Resort
Mahoe Bay Villas
Endless Summer II
|Reefs, wrecks, rock pinnacles,
caverns and walls in the BVI--50 islands and over 70 commonly known sites of the most varied and
finest diving and snorkeling
in the world.
Green Moray Eel
peeking out of crevice
all means, get down, get under the water--it's a whole new world!
The juvenile Hawksbill Turtle above
(and logo) is
divemaster and underwater naturalist, herding Grey Angelfish
The unique geology of the BVI, giving rise to a tropical archipelago beloved of sailors
in particular, explains this great diversity (at Anegada,
the North-American plate is being sub-ducted onto the Lesser Antilles).
lower visibility in summer, down from 100' in the winter to 60', due to
plankton, is a trade off for the abundant marine life of BVI reefs. Temperatures range
from 77-79º F in winter to 82-84 º F in summer.
The famed North Drop at Anegada involves
upwelling currents that feed a gigantic marine nursery on the inland reef areas of Anegada's 10
mile long Horseshoe Reef and flow to "downstream" BVI areas.
NASA photo with Anegada on
Van Dyke Scuba
DIVE AND SNORKEL SITES
"(S)" indicates snorkeling as well as diving (see
maps, dive pictures
Caves at Norman Island, actually a snorkeling
site, and The Indians (S) are all-time favorites.
Other dive and snorkeling sites near Norman Island include Rainbow Canyons (S), Spy Glass (a mini-wall)(S), Ringdove Rock, Sandy's Ledge (S), Angelfish Reef (S), and the
offshore sea mount, Santa Monica Rock.
dive sites at Carrot Shoal with its
famous black coral, Black Tip Reef, Truck Reef, the Fearless and Willie
T wrecks, and Shark Point. Fine
snorkeling can be had at Deadman's Bay, Great Harbour and White and Key Bays.
And off nearby Dead Chest Island is Dead Chest West, Coral Gardens, and the technicolor box
canyon, Painted Walls (ScubaMom).
The Wreck of
The Rhone at Salt Island. Yes, the most famous dive site of
them all--right in the BVI--The Wreck of The Rhone (S), film site for the movie,
"The Deep," starring Jacqueline Bisset.
in schools of friendly
fish, The Rhone
is a beautiful dive wreck, fully encrusted in corals and sponges since
being driven onto the reef over a century ago (photo:
Sunk in a hurricane in 1867, the
R.M.S Rhone (Royal Mail Steamer) is
shown here for the first time in a complete photo of the bow section
by master photographer
Jim Scheiner of Rainbow
beams for the horizontal deck lie on their sides-the famous "Greek
hatch which played a prominent role in the movie, makes an fabulous
entry to this "treasure ship" for divers, who can easily transit the
well-lit interior (photo: Mainsail Yacht
Notes to Novices
Beginning divers will want to consider at least a resort course. A full diving
course may be undertaken at home in its classroom/pool aspects, so as not to encumber the
vacation. Save the open water certification for the incomparable experience of descending
on an island reef.
One of the
first iron ships built, The Rhone still had the graceful lines of
a sailing ship, while outfitted as a sail-steamer from the early days of
these first engines.
stern has a massive (15' across) propeller that lies in 25' of water,
easily seen from above by snorkelers but often missed by divers due to
its huge size
(photo: UBS Dive Center).
sites include Rhone Reef (S), Blonde Rock and the colorful, current- bathed Vanishing
Rocks (photo of octopus:
A good place to learn snorkeling is a day sail
and Scuba Diving
for equipment tips
Island has the sensational
snorkeling and shallow Cistern Point, the the mythical Alice in
Wonderland at nearby Ginger Island and more!
out of large boulders protecting a little "lagoon" with its own reef
and tropical fish, The Crawl is especially
favored by little snorkelers
The Baths at Virgin Gorda. The famous Baths
are notable as a snorkeling site. Nearby,
is unparalleled as a children's beginning snorkeling site.
Nearby at Point Fort is the
Aquarium, an easy dive and snorkeling site aptly named for its abundance of tropical
fish. Seen here is the
Fish who, when disturbed, "puffs" up.
Coral Gardens also features an
Virgin Gorda's Beach Coast. Off
this beautiful coast are a group of islands called
The Dogs with fantastic
diving and snorkeling
at Joe's Cave (Wall to Wall), Flintstones, The Visibles, Bronco Billy
(S), Seal Dog Islands, Coral Gardens (S), and that most popular dive and
The Chimney (photo: Dive BVI).
nurse shark, napping on a ledge at George Dog Island, was
photographed by the famous
Inshore on Virgin Gorda's Beach Coast are
tranquil lagoons with great snorkeling on their protective reefs, such
Savannah Bays, as
well as the dive site
Mountain Point (S).
North Sound of
Virgin Gorda. This vast water expanse offers diving
Coconut Reef and great snorkeling
over seagrass, among other water-related activities.
historic 32 gun
Cannon from its
Anegada. This "drowned
island" only 28 feet high is partly surrounded by ten mile-long Horseshoe Reef
(reputedly the third largest continuous reef in the world).
to its location at the
Passage's entrance to the
Caribbean, Anegada is also
famed as a
dive wreak treasury--claiming over 300 wrecks.
halfway there that is commonly dived,
is the Chikuzen.
Loblolly Bay offers superb snorkeling.
BVI Association of
BVI Scuba Organization
Fisheye View Cam-Live!
Scuba Times Online
Free Diving with
Hawaiian Sling in Bora Bora
Diving Links Page
Daily BVI Dive Plan
Age and Diving
System for National Marine Parks
To prevent anchor abuse of reefs, boats must use moorings (surface buoys attached
to stainless steel pins set in bedrock):
White: Dive use by non-commercial boats on a first-come basis with a 90
minute time limit.
Red: Day use only by non-diving boats.
Blue: For use by dinghies only.
Yellow: Commercial dive boats only.
Large Yellow: Commercial, daysailing or large (over 55') boats.
British Virgin Islands by Jim and
Ooile Scheiner, 1997, from AcquaQuest Books is
a fabulous book--very comprehensive with brilliant photos, and even site diagrams. Jim Scheiner is a photojournalist whose pictures capture the best of the BVIs.
Click here to
order (only $15.16 with 20% off the list price).
And Snorkeling Guide to the Virgin Islands by Linda Sorensen, 1992, from Pisces
Books, is a fine book, engulfing the reader in its underwater world. Click here to
order (only $11.96 with 20% off the list price).
Guide to Marine Life : Florida Caribbean Bahamas, by Paul Humann,
1995 80 page paperback, is only $10.36 with 20% off (photo here of
Porkfish). A great little book covering so
much--fish, coral, creatures, plants--with exquisite small photos of each! Also his
Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, 1994 Paperback 2nd Edition (only
$31.96 with 20% off the list price). Highly recommended by dive magazines, fishwatchers
(akin to birdwatchers) and biologists alike. See B-V-I Bookstore for more.
about the ScubaMom's experiences
learning to scuba dive and what a great place the BVI is to learn
because of its "floor" and generally mild currents.
Please support the BVI National
Parks Trust, dedicated to the preservation of the natural and marine heritage
of the islands.
For diving emergencies, use channel 16 or 22A for US Coast Guard (9-6770) or call 999
or 991 for VISAR. Hospital Chamber
(809-776-2686) has a decompression chamber in St. Thomas.